Ya’ll this salad is so refreshing and light, making it perfect for those hot summer days. It is also a great one to make ahead of time and take for a picnic on the lake, a hike in the mountains, or an overnight camping trip. We like to do this with some grilled chicken when we head out for our family camping trips.
One of my besties shared this recipe with me years ago, knowing my palette would certainly give it a two thumbs up. It has been in our regular rotation ever since…. Well, ever since we more or less eliminated grains from our diet. I say more or less because we’ve been experimenting with rice on occasion again, and well sometimes I’m just not up for the work or don’t have the energy to be creative and we “cheat”. Just had to clarify, in case you had the impression that I was perfectly holding my family to these standards all the time (I certainly aspire to, but I am not perfect). As of late, I’ve had to adopt the notion that we will do the best we can when we are home, and we try to eat at home as often as possible, but when we are out and about I want my children to feel normal. I still stand by the idea that it’s a sad standard of normalcy that we uphold in our society when it comes to our diets and the food we incorporate into our celebrations and traditions. And I hope as we become more educated, we change this standard, and frankly I hope what I aspire to do becomes easier!
Anyways, I was sad to see this one go because the original recipe called for rice, and then it dawned on me. Why not make it with cauliflower rice? I mean, it would be a little different, but it should work. I’m always trying to recreate old favorites in accordance with our clean eating regime. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I loose. I can safely say this was a win!
So now that summer is in full swing, and I am not stuck in the car for days on end staring at endless GMO cornfields listening to my kids squabble in the back seat, I decided to give it a whirl. Boy am I glad I did. It worked just fine with the cauliflower rice and felt even lighter and healthier yet satisfying too. A win, win!
Here is the original recipe my friend sent that calls for rice: http://www.cookusinterruptus.com/emerald-city-salad-4136-34.html
I essentially kept everything the same, but I pulsed some cauliflower in my blender to a rice like texture, and then pan fried that until warm. The purpose of the warm “rice” on top of the other ingredients is to wilt the greens, in addition to accentuating the combination of flavors as well. I also happened to be out of power greens when I made this and I used some beautiful purple lettuce from the garden instead. I wish I knew what kind I planted, but I don’t (note to self, keep track next year)! Another change I made was I eliminated the fennel as my palette is not a big fan, and I left out the cheese as it seemed unnecessary. But those are just personal preferences, I’m sure they’d be great additions if you so choose.
So, give this a try, and post a picture of your results in the comment section below. You won’t be disappointed and neither will your guests or hosts if you take it to a party. It is beautiful and enticing with its array of colors and textures, and the lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper are the perfect combination to bring the flavors of all the veggies alive.
Thanks for reading, and as always, may our kitchens (and medicine cabinets) become a little less processed one day at a time!